Ohio Death Records and Death Index

It may surprise you to learn how often genealogists face this particular set of circumstances. They are aware of when their ancestor was born, when they may have married, when their children were born but they just can’t find out when they died.

There are a fair few instances where the only information missing is the death date which can be very frustrating. This is why knowing what death records may be available to you can be vital in your research.

It is important to note that one of the biggest issues in finding a death record can be looking in the wrong place. You may be surprised how often people miss records because they are looking in the wrong county and sometimes even the wrong state.

In this post we will be looking at Ohio state death records and indexes to try and help you find those elusive ancestors. So if you are confident that your ancestor likely died in the state of Ohio then read on and hopefully we can help you out.

About Ohio

Originally colonized by French fur traders, the area we now know as Ohio became a British possession after the French and Indian War in 1754. It came into American possession after the Revolutionary War and was incorporated into the Northwestern Territory.

Ohio would become a state when it was admitted on March 1st 1803 although a formal declaration was not made of this until the documents were officially signed in 1953 by President Dwight Eisenhower. The state has quite the presidential connection with no less than seven Ohio natives or residents having stints in the White House.

Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014

All American citizens, naturalized immigrants and resident aliens require a Social Security number for proof of identification and authorization to work. This number follows us throughout our life and when we die this nine digit code is very important.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a database of death records that was compiled from the United States Social Security Administration Death Master File. This was until 2014 when the rules changed and public access to the Death Master File had to take place through a certification program.

Those researching the deaths of ancestors in this state will likely find that most people who have died between 1936 and 2014 can be found on the Social Security Death Index. This does however only hold true if the person had a Social Security number when they died.

It is estimated that since 1973 the SSDI recorded 93% to 96% of the deaths of individuals aged 65 or over. The index was updated frequently and by June of 2011 there were 89,835,920 records available.

The index can be found on websites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry.com and offers details such as:

Given name and surname (middle initial since the 1990s)

  • Date of birth
  • Month and year of death (Full date of death for accounts active after 2000)
  • Social Security number
  • State or territory Social Security number was issued
  • Last place of residence when alive including ZIP code

Click here to search Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014

U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

This is more or less an extension of the information you can find from the Social Security Death Index. It has been extracted from the SSDI records but features more details. It does not include all of the names found in the SSDI however but there are at least 49 million names included.

In this record you may find additional information such as:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Parents names if deceased would be over 75 when you are viewing the records (may be redacted if under 75)
  • Citizenship status
  • Gender
  • Sometimes race or ethnic group

Click here to search U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Ohio, U.S. Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2018

This collection which is found on Ancestry.com offers over 5.3 million listings of deaths between 1908 – 2018 within the state of Ohio. There are some missing years but generally those individuals who died in the state during this time period and whose death was reported to the state should be present.

The original index was created by the Ohio Department of Health and the records will include a certificate number. This number can be used to help you order a copy of the original death certificate.

It should be noted that Ancestry.com requires a paid membership.

Click here to search Ohio, U.S., Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2018

Ohio, U.S. Select County Death Records,1840-1908

This is an Ancestry.com collection so it will need a subscription to use. The records in this collection predate standardized state vital record keeping so they will have been reported to county clerks rather than the state.

Not all counties are included in this but there are some in this collection. You can find out some basic biographical details about the deceased and about their death.

Click here to search Ohio, U.S., Select County Death Records,1840-1908

Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County

Early death records were reported to county clerks so as such these are often still found on a more local level. As the world digitizes increasingly, these old records can be found on independent websites.

County Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County
  • See Summit County
  • See Hamilton County
  • See Franklin County
  • See Montgomery County
  • See Lucas County
  • See Mahoning County


There is a wealth of online help when it comes to death records in Ohio. Many counties have indexes for obituaries, death registers and burial information.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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  • " Ohio Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on December 6, 2023. https://namecensus.com/blog/ohio-death-records-and-death-index/.

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